Mama in Denial

I sat in the car stunned . . . nearly paralyzed.  I was feeling close to a panic attack.  I was scared and couldn’t speak.  My legs wouldn’t move.

But Elliot was sitting next to me.  I couldn’t let him know how scared I was.  I knew he was probably a little taken aback, too.  I had to pull it together and be a brave mama.

Breathe.  Breathe again.  Gather supplies.  Force feet to the ground.  And plaster a confident-looking smile upon my face.  “I’ll be right back!” I called to my three kids who waited and watched, silently wishing me luck as I turned and walked to the building.

“I can do this,” I reminded myself as I forced one foot in front of the other.  I tried not to stare.  I tried not to gasp when I heard curse words coming from the little groups of people formed all over the lawn.  These kids were huge!  And Elliot would be a student here in only 5 short months!

I was at the junior high school, and I was dropping off Elliot’s application for intra-district transfer.  He has decided that he wants to be a part of our district’s IBI (International Business Initiative) / IB (International Baccalaureate) languages program next year.  He wants to learn Mandarin Chinese starting next year (7th grade) and continue on the district’s Pre-AP / Pre-IB program.  The process includes an application in which he had to write a few paragraphs explaining why he’s interested in the program, as well as his current grades and test performance.

I walked through crowds of huge and rough-looking teenagers.  I realized I was holding my breath.  I reminded myself to breathe, and continued toward the building.  I finally made it to the front door and made my way inside.

Once inside the building, the quiet of the nearly empty building settled my nerves and emotions a little bit.  The school is very nice inside.  The office is quite orderly and inviting.  A lovely woman greeted me with an excited smile.  I told her why I was there, and her excitement grew.  I had a great conversation with her.  She bragged on my kid even though she knew nothing about him.  She went on and on about what a great program he was enrolling in and about what a fun time he would have there.  She would be working with the summer program that Elliot was also planning to attend.  Our conversation and her kind words were like a hug around the neck to this suddenly overwhelmed mama of a nearly junior high kid.

I walked back outside with a new confidence and a new peace about this next step for Elliot.  While the kids on the lawn still looked huge compared to my little 11-year-old son sitting anxiously in the car, they looked more like kids this time.  And I smiled at them.

I sat back in the car and gave Elliot the report.  I told him what a good visit it was.  I told him about the nice lady.  I told him the nice things she said about the program and the nice things she had said about him.  I told him how nice the building was inside and how nice the office was.

He, too, was relieved that I had had such a good visit.  We both felt like maybe junior high wouldn’t be too bad . . . we were both convinced that it was a nice place and that it was the right place for him.

“I’m glad you such a positive visit,” he said and meant it.

At the dinner table that night, Elliot again expressed his happiness at my good visit at the junior high school.

“Did it just sorta calm your nerves a little bit to have such a good experience there?” he asked me.

Yes, it did.  And it calmed his little nerves, too.

Oh, boy!  We have some new experiences to come, for sure!


5 responses to this post.

  1. Hang in there, mamma. Jr. High isnt so bad. Erica has made it thru with out any bumps or bruises in the Pre-AP program and is now moving on to High school. YIKES! Steven will be entering Jr. High too. I think he’s pretty excited about it. Elliot will do fine, and he I’m sure he will enjoy Jr. High. Its not as scary as it first seems. Good luck to Elliot with his mandarin, that will be a very interesting language to learn!


  2. Even our typical kids can cause anxiety. I am glad your visit went well. I used to teach middle school and it is a friendlier place than it appears at first glance. It sounds like an exciting program for Elliot!


  3. exciting times… and Elliot will do wonderful there!
    Just remember Momma.. to breathe..
    and of course… pray!


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